Montezuma is an old mining town in Colorado, the population in 2010 was 65.
A panorama of Loveland Pass, near the Continental Divide (click photo for larger image)
We enjoyed music and food from local vendors at the Mountain Town Music Festival. Peaches were in season at the time and just about every food there used them in one way or another.
A refreshing beverage at the Tiki Bar on Dillon Reservoir was a great way to end a day.
A view of Dillon Reservoir from higher up.
We drove into Boulder for the Happy Thursday Cruiser Ride, a weekly community bicycle ride. The riders wear costumes based on the theme, which changes each week. The theme for the ride we attended was superheroes. It was fun to socialize with the other riders and ride through the city, wishing everyone a “Happy Thursday.”
Our good friend, Ryan, is the brewmaster at Wibby Brewing, an all lager brewery in Longmont, Colorado. The brewery was not yet open to the public at the time of our visit, but the grand opening is happening in less than two weeks.
Our fantastic sheltered parking space. This pavilion used to be where tractor trailers of turkeys would wait to unload at the Butterball plant that used to be across the street.
In addition to seeing Ryan, we met Ted, Martha, Mickey, and Buster, the whole Lager Family. It was great getting behind the scenes look at the brewery before it opened. We also had a chance to sample the beers, which were excellent.
Thank you, everyone at Wibby Brewing enough for being such great hosts. We can’t wait to head to our favorite bar(s) for a Wibby brew!
Loveland, Colorado is our halfway stopping point between Fort Collins and our next destination, Longmont. Loveland is probably best known for being the home of the Valentine Re-Mailing Program.
Fort Collins is our first stop in Colorado. We found a great camping spot for the bgrig at the Horsetooth Reservoir. Having a view of mountains, and access to water was the perfect start to our stay.
First morning in Colorado. There was no cell phone service in the campground, which was a fine excuse to take the KLR out for a quick ride to a higher elevation. Horsetooth Reservoir is visible in the background.
Being unhitched from the trailer made visiting Rocky Mountain National Park a whole lot easier. First, we drove up Old Fall River Road, the first road for cars that allowed access to higher elevations in the park. The road is unpaved and has many switchbacks and no guardrails.
Here’s a video driving through the canyon.
Wind Cave National park in South Dakota is the first cave to be designated a national park, and is currently the sixth longest cave in the world.
Our first evening in the park was spent above ground in the grasslands. There are designated trails through the grasslands, but visitors are allowed to hike on and off trail. During our hike we saw elk, bison, prairie dogs, and rabbits.
This rabbit was clearly not a stranger to the camera.
Wind Cave has one of the largest deposits of Boxwork in the world.
Sturgis, South Dakota is probably best known for being home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. This year’s rally is the 75th anniversary of the event, and a record 1 million bikers attended. We opted to take some advice we got earlier in the trip and arrived in Sturgis the week after the rally to avoid the mad house.
We found a great camp site at Days End Campground. Our campground neighbor, Gene was a true dyed in the wool biker that treated us to pizza and whiskey after we helped him pick up his fallen motorcycle. The campground also gave us a good jumping off point to unhitch the trailer and explore the Black Hills.
There are many excellent hiking spots along Spearfish Canyon.
Community Caves was the most memorable hike of the day. The long, steep climb was rewarded with caves and a waterfall. (click the image for a larger view)
Driving Badlands Loop was a nice change of pace from interstates.
Our first stop was Wall Drug, a drug store that opened in 1931 which became well known and successful after offering free ice water to the weary travelers passing through.
Wall Drug still offers free water to this day, and has since expanded to become a tourist attraction known the world over. In addition to the drug store itself, there is a cafe, western themed mall, chapel, museum, and various oddities to check out.
The Jackelope is one of Wall Drug’s better known attractions.